August 30, 2015

Elevator pitches and other self-introductions

The concept of “elevator pitch” is ill-defined. Strictly speaking, it’s supposed to be how you’d describe your company or product in no more time than the length of an elevator ride. But if you ever actually are in such a situation, you will likely tailor your pitch to the specific listener. Ergo, you shouldn’t have one standard elevator pitch. So I’ll talk about “self-introductions” instead. Whatever we call it, the challenge “How do we introduce and summarize our story in the shortest possible time, or in the fewest possible words?” is a Really Big Deal.

Self-introductions occur at several different lengths, including but not limited to:

Usually, it makes sense to view the shorter ones as being abbreviations of the longer, more complete forms.

Your short summaries are necessarily incomplete, and even a bit inaccurate, for nothing concise is ever precise. Even so, there are a few questions you should almost always anticipate and answer — for if you don’t address them, then the rest of the conversation can’t really happen. The Big Three questions are:

The template I usually recommend for self-introductions is:


2 Responses to “Elevator pitches and other self-introductions”

  1. Evan on August 30th, 2015 9:08 am

    What are some examples of pitches you like?

  2. Why pitching ability matters | Strategic Messaging on October 30th, 2015 11:05 pm

    […] posted a lot about how to pitch. Categories: Technology marketing  Subscribe to our complete […]

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